The Atascadero News reports that California prosecutors and the California District Attorney’s Association are urging California governor Gavin Newsom to veto Assembly Bill 3234, a new bill that allows many people to have their cases dismissed and erased from their records after completing a diversion program, including convicted drunk drivers. The bill would allegedly also result in losing millions of dollars in federal funds that help California prosecutors and police fight impaired driving in the state.
The bill is based on a 2014 Los Angeles County diversion pilot program, which excluded offenses such as DUIs, many crimes against children, and weapons charges, but the AB 3234 includes none of these exclusions. This bill, therefore, would allow a court to grant diversion for a wide variety of serious crimes such as DUI, which reduces the ability for prosecutors and police to act on a pattern of criminal behavior for subsequent arrests.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving also opposes the bill, releasing the following statement: “For 40 years, MADD has fought to make streets safe from drivers impaired by alcohol and drugs — this bill threatens public safety by allowing almost all impaired drivers to avoid accountability. AB 3234 is so bad that even DUI cases that result in injuries are eligible for diversion, despite any objections from prosecutors and victims. AB 3234 does not honor the memory of impaired driving victims. Instead, the proposal undermines the seriousness of this crime. It isn’t right and we urge all Californians to join us in opposing AB 3234.”